School's asperger's assessment says no but psychiatrist's says yes?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Okay now I'm really confused. I just filled out some paperwork for difficult child 2's IEP and one of the forms was an asperger's questionaire. difficult child fit about half of the symptoms. There was plenty of things he did not fit at all. He does not talk in monotone and he does not engage in repetitive behavior (unless playing video games for hours count?) He does not talk obsessively about one subject and he does not have limited interests. There were other things he did fit but plenty of them he didn't. psychiatrist's assessment was completely different and he fit those behaviors almost to a T.

    I'm confused about the school's test because when I scored it they said that asperger's was extremely unlikely. There were only sixty questions but the test said that if he scored under sixty nine then there was a high probabiliity that he did not have it. Anything near a hundred meant he did have it. Did I score it wrong? I'm really confused. And will the parent assessment be what they go by in determining if he qualifies? Or does psychiatrist's assessment override what their's says? I'm so confused!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Schools don't want to have to pay for SpEd if they can help it... psychiatrist's assessment should overrride.
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Stepto2 I certainly hope so. difficult child 2 definitely needs an IEP in place before he starts middle school. If they decide that he doesn't qualify I am going to fight it. He also has ADHD and it's pretty severe.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Yes, playing video games for hours on end counts as repetitive behavior AND limited interests IF he does the video games instead of other things. Both my difficult children have varied interests but there are some things they will ALWAYS do if given a choice between those certain activities and ones not or "high" interest.

    From my understanding, an Asperger's evaluation should focus more on the social awkwardness and communication. Personally, I would fight tooth and nail to have the psychiatrist's assessment override. Take an advocate with you. It sounds like you might have a fight on your hands. Go prepared!!!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ADHD should also qualify for an IEP, but you will HAVE to advocate HARD for specifics if my experience is any indication.

    I agree with TeDo about taking an advocate.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    First take a deep breath. If they go by your assessment only, they are IDIOTS. seriously, they can't do that. My assessments of my kids put them much closer to 'normal' Why? Because I live with them day in and day out and are so used to their behaviors - not to mention, I grew up with such behaviors in a father which makes it all "normal" for me, so on evaluations, things of "concern" don't concern me so much and are scored lower.

    Anyway I will say that DD1 did NOT have limited or obsessive interests until recently. Partly because she wasn't interested in anything - or maybe was interested in everything? Either way It never would have gotten noticed as a symptom by anyone. Now? Cannot tear her away from her anime.

    Wait til all the assessments are done. No need to get yourself worked up trying to predict what will happen right now.
  7. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    well, not for nothing--so would most of the free world. i'd certainly rather be here than say, cleaning my bathroom.

    i'm not sure i'd make a diagnosis on a love of video games either--there is more to it than that. theres a different feel to repetitive interests than there is say, a passionate hobby. both you might do constantly if given the choice, but in one you would obsessively fixated might constantly talk about their hobby, but can also talk about or do something else--the repetative kid cannot.

    i have a good friend whos child is squarely on the spectrum and is obsessed with a specific movie--i can't even explain in words how it LITERALLY permeates her entire life...there is no mistaking that its a repetitive interest.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Confuzzled - my son is obsessed with Star Wars - and with video games. Specifically shoot-em-up war games.

    husband bought Skyrim... Jett will play, but is not terribly interested. Put in Call of Duty or Halo and it's obsessive. He talks about them when not playing.

    So, in some cases, it could be considered as such.
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    and cablonde...step is right about them not wanting to pay for it--they may or may not accept a psychiatrist diagnosis. the object for you is to show educational impact (where his symptoms are actually causing a problem with school work). thats what you as his advocate have to remember--a diagnosis does not automatically qualify someone for an IEP. you have to show cause.

    like, you could have adhd which is completely controlled with medications and have no issues with school whatsoever. just because you have the diagnosis doesnt guarantee you'd get an IEP (504's are much more lax). or you could have a seizure disorder thats controlled--doesnt mean you need an IEP.

    for you, the goal is to show (and sometimes imply its worse than it is :wink:) how its impacting his learning...which means sometimes you have to lean on the edge of creativity to get 'er done. social deficeits are often the hardest to word, but you can show how its difficult to communicate with peers in the classroom, group work can be impossible, and so on...i cant think of a better example off the top of my head, lol, so i hope you get my point. *ANYTHING* can be worded in a way that shows its impacting his think about it in advance.

    and if i remember correctly, you are in a state that relies on some kind of regional centers for their disabled population---i'm not saying your son is appropriate for it because i have no idea what the criteria is to qualify for services through them, but it would be well worth calling yours to pick a brain or two....
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In terms of the real world... psychiatrist is the only evaluation that counts. (as long as you, as the parent, are comfortable with both the process and the diagnosis... otherwise, you get a second opinion...)

    School evaluation is for the purposes of school resources. So... if the two don't agree, you have a problem. My first gut reaction is... complete ALL of the possible testing (including Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)), and then pull in an advocate to make your case.
  11. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well he does obsess over video games, either played on the Wii or on the computer. He will ask me to come in and watch what he is playing (I really have no interest but I pretend to) and he would MUCH rather play video games rather than go outside. He even had a friend who used to live downstairs from us and he had little desire to go play with him. I think he has been outside around five times since we have lived at our place, which has been two years. He has a bike and a scooter and has absolutely no interest in using them. I don't know if that necessarily qualifies him for autism or not but those are just a few of his odd behaviors.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    CB, you could be describing Jett. husband recently got him an expensive outdoor radio controlled car... It doesn't get used much unless we pester him about it. Doesn't like going outside, would rather be in front of a screen and/or inside...
  13. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    yea but step (not to argue with you, lol), i have never once gotten the impression from you that jett is so rigidly focused on star wars or halo that its all there is....i know lots can be lost in the internet world, but i just dont get that vibe about jett--in fact, i think hes one of the more flexible kids in this group with the maybe Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis...from things you've said about him i dont doubt he has a toe in the pond, but his love of video games leans more toward ttdom, Know what I mean??

    i think its a slippery slope to assume someone who is passionate about something automatically qualifies them as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may be one of multitude of reasons to consider it, but certainly a love of video games or anime or whatever alone isnt enough to do i said, a repetitive interest kind of permeates everything...its just kind of more. (and what its definitely not is just the fact that moms eyeballs are rolling back in her head due to boredom from whatever boring minutia they are excitedly talking about--someone else who is just as passionate might find it a fascinating factiod--its more when they are so stuck you cant get them off it...until the next obsession comes along.)

    maybe i'm not articulating this very well....its the first day of spring break and i'm already beyond frazzled :smile:
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    School wanted to pin difficult child as Aspergers'... because he wouldn't make eye contact, and had "repetitive interests".

    Reality? he was so extremely fatigued that he couldn't even hold his head up, and they expected eye contact, and good posture? And the repetitive interests? well... it was pretty much FOTW - flavor of the week.

    His interests are so broad that he can talk the kind leg of of every single person he runs into... and keep track of which person is interested in which of his interests... so, all person A hears about is baseball, and all person B hears about is hockey and all person C hears about is a certain author... and each of them is sick and tired of the topic, but... single track? not a hope!

    Having said that... he does have some Aspie traits. So... who's right? depends on how you take it.
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I believe my son may have asperger's because of his very poor social skills. Plus he was a very late walker and late talker. He does not relate well to kids or adults. He shows affection really inappropriately. He tend to go up behind other kids and grab them around the waist and squeeze them really hard. This behavior may have been considered as normal if he was two or three, but not normal, in my humble opinion at the age of eleven. He simply does not get why kids get uncomfortable or even angry when he does this. In his mind he is only trying to show affection. His teacher has reported other oddities as well.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Go with your mommy gut. It's almost always right - or at least will be in the right direction.
    If YOU see it... and the psychiatrist is validating, that's two "professional" opinions (you are a professional mom) against one (school).

    For our difficult child - we did NOT see it. And were right. (big problem was Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)) Mommy Gut is just so often something we ignore or don't respond to because, well, we're not the experts, right? Except - we are. WE know our kids better than anyone else in the world. If what we hear from the "experts" lines up with our Mommy Gut, we're probably safe!

    If you need to borrow some rhino skin, or warrior mom armour, or other supplies for the battle, just let us know. There's always a few of us around here that are not in active combat at any one point in time...
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I haven't read any other responses so forgive me if I am repetitious.

    School assessments are not as accurate (not AT ALL) as private evaluations. I would trust the psychiatrist way over the school district. Unfortunately, the best and brightest psychologists (and they are NOT psyCHIAtrists) do not work for the school district. They are mostly in private practice. Also, they have an agenda...if your child has a diagnosis., they have to do accommodations, which cost the school district money. Our school district never came close to figuring out Sonic and we truly didn't expect much from them. We relied on the private assessments.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree with MWM. At the last middle school IEP I went to with Wiz they pulled in their asperger's "expert". When I asked what training she had in aspergers to make her an expert, the entire table full of people tried to change the subject. I pushed until they answered - she took a class about various types of autism and learning disabilities in college, and has just graduated from college - this was her first year of teaching. ONE class, three credit hours, and she was an 'expert'! She knew almost NOTHING, had never heard of Tony Attwood, and pulled out a book called "The Everything Book of Aspergers" (part of a series of books including "The Everything Book of Christmas") and said that it was the "definitive" book on aspergers. I was HORRIFIED. This is pretty much a "dummies" book and is NOT in any way definitive. She claimed that Wiz did NOT have Aspergers because he made eye contact and when pushed would speak about subjects other than pokemon. Sure he would - when he knew that he owuld get something for participating. He got time out of class and he got candy and soda for talking to her. That was enough. But she tape recorded the discussion that was about "school subjects" and he discussed math as in how many pokemon were at the start of the movie and how many were left standing after the big battle. Gee, that's math and not talking about his obsessive interest? How? Even the others at the IEP table had to admit that it was NOT talking about anything other than pokemon and there was twenty min of this that this "expert" claimed was not about pokemon but it was all pokemon this that and the other. Shortly after he ended up in the psychiatric hospital and then I had them skip him a grade because he was NOT going back to a school that would not let me into the building with-o threatening to call the police to charge me with tresspassing even if I was there at a teacher's request. skipping a grade was one of the best things we did, and the jr high here was awesome with him. I would NOT trust a school evaluation for a disorder as complex as asperger's. They simply are not the specialists that you need. If school balks, get an advocate and a letter from the psychiatrist. They cannot legally win if they object to a psychiatrist evaluation - the psychiatrist's evaluation will ALWAYS top theirs.
  19. Pandora

    Pandora Member

    A school psychologist wrote a letter describing my son's various behaviors. We gave the letter to his pediatrician/internist. That evening, he called me and said "Mrs Pandora, this is out of my area of expertise. I want you to go see Dr X. He specializes in pediatric neurology." We did what he said, and Dr X diagnosed him within 20 minutes of talking/ interacting with him. I wouldn't depend on what the school said, a physician's word takes precedence.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Confuzzled, there are degrees of obsessionality. It can also vary over time in the same individual. Also, what they obsess about can change over time.

    Californiablonde, I would push for the more highly trained person (ie the psychiatrist) to be the one whose diagnosis prevails.

    That said - diagnosis of Asperger's is still very subjective. I specifically asked the question, "Do you think difficult child 1 could have some form of high-functioning autism?" when he was 6, and the psychiatrist said, "Definitely not. And I've just spent hours assessing him." Yet 8 years later the diagnosis was made readily.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 has just had four (expensive) hours being assessed by another psychiatrist. I sat in on all sessions (staying quiet, knitting in the background). Within minutes at the first session the psychiatrist said, "I can assure you, there is no way you have Asperger's. Just sitting talking to you, it is obvious to me that this is something else. Probably bipolar."
    But after the last session, the psychiatrist was saying, "I want you to have a neuropsychologist assessment, I am convinced you have mild Asperger's."

    difficult child 3 was diagnosed as autistic when he was 3 years old. A little younger, actually. Initially they called it Asperger's, but he had significant language delay and that pushed his diagnosis into the autism spectrum more fully. He scored moderate on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale.
    However, when difficult child 3's language skills improved into the normal range, the school tried to re-label him as Aspie. I remember the school counsellor saying to me, as we watched this kid walking around the painted-on lines of the basketball court, "Isn't it wonderful to see how he fits in now? You must be so pleased that he's no longer autistic."

    The capacity for self-deception is breathtaking. However, when it comes to a school trying to avoid having to put in the effort needed, it is also sadly too common.